Everton Managerial Candidates: Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick: A surprise contender for the Everton job - Christof Koepsel

In a further twist in the Everton managerial saga, former Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick flew to England on Thursday to be interviewed by Bill Kenwright.

After speaking with a number of internal candidates, including David Weir and Alan Stubbs, earlier this month, Kenwright then met with Porto boss Vitor Pereira last week.

After gaining permission to speak to Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who has announced his intention to quit the FA Cup winners, a meeting was arranged at a London Hotel on Wednesday.

It was widely believed that the Spaniard would be appointed boss within days, but after being door-stepped by Sky Sports News outside his London office, Kenwright confirmed that he was to meet with two more candidates.

One of those has emerged to be Rangnick, who is currently a Sports Director for both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.

Daily Mirror journalist Alan Nixon tweeted during Thursday that he had seen a ‘new candidate’ go for an interview and confirmed during the evening that it was the 54-year-old German he had seen.

Rangnick had little playing career to speak of, playing mainly in the lower and amateur leagues. He does, though, speak perfect English after a spell studying in England at the University of Sussex.

After also starting his coaching career in the lower divisions, he got his big break with Stuttgart in 1999, reaching the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal Cup and last-16 of the UEFA Cup. However, a sharp downturn in form saw him sacked in 2001.

He endured unsuccessful stints with Hannover and Schalke before joining Hoffenheim in 2006. It was there his managerial career took off as he played his part in Hoffenheims’ rise from the German third division to the upper reaches of the Bundesliga.

In January 2011 he resigned suddenly from his post, citing the sale of Luis Gustavo to Bayern Munich behind his back.

A month later he returned to Schalke for a second spell in charge of the club, leading them to the semi-finals of the Champions League thanks to a 7-3 aggregate win over Inter Milan.

In September 2011 he resigned from his role due to exhaustion, but has recovered sufficiently to take his existing role with Salzburg and Leipzig. It is not yet clear whether any compensation would be due should Everton seek to appoint him.

As to the type of manager he is, well a quick scan of Twitter suggests he is in the Arsene Wenger-type mould, focusing on youth development.

This article written by a Liverpool site when he emerged as a contender for the Anfield job last year also offers some interesting insight into his tactics while at Hoffenheim and reveals a studious dedication to the game. There is also this article about his youth development theories as well as this BBC feature written while he was at Schalke.

Martinez remains frontrunner to replace David Moyes but at least you cannot accuse Kenwright of not being thorough in his search for a new boss. He has gone about the interview process diligently and has cast the net far and wide.

Sky Sports News reported on Thursday evening that the interview process was now at an end and the shortlist whittled down to just three candidates: Martinez, Rangnick and - possibly - Pereira - though fellow RBM writer Darren says former Toffees defender Slaven Bilic is in the mix (he also has money riding on it!).

With the talking over the crunch decision time is now near and I imagine a final decision will be made on Monday after Bill spends the weekend deliberating.

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